Thursday, June 27, 2013

Into the Mists

Yesterday I did one of my lean-to maintenance hikes. I adopt a lean-to in the Adirondacks that is about 4 miles in from the trailhead. The adopter does clean up and minor maintenance to the shelter and the adjacent camping area. My friend Rick went with me.

The forecast was for a 30% chance of rain and I had hoped it would hold off until late in the day so we started early. The photo above was made at 7 AM looking across the Plains of Abraham so we knew as we drove in the Loj Rd. that we would see rain and we did. I think I can safely say we got all of the 30% that was forecast, about half of it in one 15-20 minute downpour. Fortunately we were at the lean-to when the downpour occurred so, although we got wet, we didn't get drenched.

This is my 22nd year as a lean-to adopter. It allows me to 'give back' as they put it, a way to contribute to the welfare of the Adirondack wilderness that gives me a lot of pleasure, not to mention a lot of photographs. It also gives me a sense of ownership over what is actually public land, a proprietary feeling of concern for preserving it for future generations. Part of that proprietary feeling is a sense of indignation towards those who willfully disrespect this gift of nature.

That indignation got exercised yesterday. There is, and has been for several years now, a ban on campfires in the High Peaks area. The first thing we discovered on arrival at the lean-to was an elaborate fire pit built by digging a hollow in the ground and placing a ring of rocks that had been taken from the stream around the edge of the pit. There had been a No Fires sign on the front post of the lean-to but it had been cut away around the nails that held it and apparently burned in the pit along with tin cans, glass and other trash that any fool should know doesn't burn, leaving a charred and ugly mess for Rick and I to haul out.

We bagged up the trash and dismantled the fire ring, returning the rocks to the stream along with the stash of firewood that the builders had piled nearby. We delivered a new register (the old one was falling apart) and headed back out by 11 AM taking a detour to Rocky Falls on the way. I'm sure I've posted pictures of Rocky Falls before but here's another. It was a good day to be in the woods, but then, it's a rare day  that isn't.
The panorama at the top was stitched from 4 frames. All photos were made with a Canon G11.

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